Friday, November 21, 2014

Professor Sam Halabi visits the LL.M. Program

Sam Halabi, Associate Professor at the University of Tulsa College of Law graciously agreed to visit our Food Law & Policy course today to introduce the class to the international food standards body, Codex, and present his latest article on the subject. An excerpt from Professor Halabi's bio is included below. His full bio is available on the University of Tulsa College of Law website. Our thanks to Professor Halabi.

Professor Halabi  is a scholar of national and global health law with a specialization in health services, pharmaceutical, and tobacco business organizations. Between 2008 and 2010, he served as a Fellow of the O'Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law at Georgetown University researching the formation and implementation of international legal instruments regulating health-related policies of governments and businesses. In 2008, he advised the Presidential Health Care Policy Working Group on current and proposed approaches to international food and drug inspections. In 2010, Professor Halabi addressed a special committee of the United Nations on the relationship between decentralized health care systems and social inclusion as well as the U.N. Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women on Egypt's compliance with the World Health Organization's Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. In 2014, he served as Director of the O’Neill Institute’s Summer Program on Emerging Issues in Food and Drug Law. His recent policy work focuses on identifying and minimizing legal barriers to global vaccine availability. He serves as an adviser to the National Foundation for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization, vice-chair of the Food and Drug Law Journal editorial board as well as a referee for the journals Global Public Health and Health and Human Rights. His work is published or forthcoming in the American Journal of Law and Medicine, the Harvard International Law Journal, the Journal of Law, Medicine, and Ethics, the Michigan Journal of International Law, and the Northwestern Journal of International Law and Business, among others.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Two New Native Food & Ag Publications Released

This is a reposting from the unofficial blog of the Indigenous Food & Agriculture Initiative at the University of Arkansas School of Law. The Initiative supports tribal governments and businesses in the food and agriculture sector through research, tech assistance, and special programs.
IFAI and First Nations Development Institute have jointly released two new publications that will prove valuable for Native American farmers, ranchers and food processors, as well as tribal policymakers. The reports, generously underwritten by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation through funding to First Nations, are: "Why a Model Food and Agriculture Code is Needed in Indian Country" by Janie Simms Hipp, J.D., LL.M. (Chickasaw), Director of IFAI, and "Maneuvering Challenges: An Overview of Food Safety for Tribal Producers" by Vena A-dae Romero, J.D., L.L.M. (Cochiti/Kiowa), a graduate of the LL.M. (Master of Laws) program in Agriculture and Food Law at the University of Arkansas, and the first Native lawyer graduate of the program since the launch of IFAI.

The publications are free and available for download from First Nations’ Knowledge Center.  (Note: you may have to create a free account to download the reports if you don’t already have one.)

LL.M. Alumni develop Agricultural & Food Law Program

LLM Alumni Take Lead in Developing New Ag and Food Law Program in Maryland

We are pleased to report on the work of our LL.M. alumni in developing the excellent new agricultural and food law programs in Maryland. Since January of 2013, alumni Paul Goeringer has been a partner on the University of Maryland Agriculture Law Education Initiative (ALEI). Paul has taken the lead on developing an Extension outreach program focused on the legal issues important to Maryland agriculture. Paul was recently joined on the Extension side by another LL.M. alum, Ashley Newhall.

ALEI was born out of the aftermath of a lawsuit involving the University of Maryland Carey School of Law and a Maryland poultry farmer. Three state institutions, University of Maryland College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Maryland-Eastern Shore School of Agricultural and Natural Sciences, and the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law, joined forces to identify the diverse legal needs of Maryland’s agriculture community. The initiative is working to fill the ag law void in the state of Maryland by publishing publications and research focused on land leasing, agricultural labor, estate planning, and the state’s unique right-to-farm law. ALEI also operates an Infoline where producers can call in, ask questions, and be directed to legal resources or an attorney if necessary.  

Paul brought Ashley on board last summer, and their team focuses on developing outreach tools that help the state’s agricultural community understand an ever-changing set of laws and regulations. “We do a little bit of everything from developing traditional Extension publications, speaking at a host of Extension and ag producer meetings, and running a blog focused developing and current legal issues in agriculture,” said Paul, “we also work on developing programs and materials to aid attorneys working on ag issues.” 

Since its creation, ALEI has helped to spur the formation of an agriculture law section of the Maryland State Bar and hosted the first AALA regional conference. “We had a really great regional conference,” said Ashley, “some of the major issues such as the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act and the TMDL updates, drones flying over agriculture land, and the Farm Bill were all discussed in great detail...I couldn’t be more excited to be working on the initiative here in Maryland helping producers.”

To learn more about ALEI or just see what Ashley and Paul are working on or speaking at, check out the ALEI homepage at If you are curious about current legal issues impacting Maryland agriculture check out their blog at

We wish Ashley and Paul continued success as they continue to work to build this distinctive agricultural and food law program serving the state of Maryland.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Allen Olson Teaches Condensed Course in Farm Programs / 2014 Farm Bill

Federal Farm Programs & Crop Insurance with Allen Olson

Allen Olson at Fayetteville Farmers' Market
Visiting LL.M. Professor Allen Olson returned to teach a condensed course on Federal Farm Programs and Crop Insurance. A longtime friend to the LL.M. Program and one of our alumni, Allen has taught a condensed course for us for a number of years. His ability to weave practice experience and academic rigor into the course is always appreciated. Allen maintains an agricultural law practice law in Albany, Georgia, representing farmers, ranchers and related businesses in Georgia and nationwide.  His work is concentrated on federal farm programs, crop insurance, business planning, and conservation easements.

During his visit, Allen was kind enough to participate in the filming of an LL.M. video currently under production. His expertise and long history with the program made him a perfect candidate for the production. Pictured above is a scene from the Fayetteville Farmers' Market.

Our sincere thanks to Professor Olson.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

LLM Candidate Hillary Renick Quoted in Indian Country Today

Tribal Heritage and Preservation

Hillary Renick, Tribal Heritage and Preservation Officer, Pomo Tribe
Hillary Rennick, one of this year's LL.M. candidates, was recently quoted in Indian Country Today.

Hillary serves as the the Tribal Heritage and Preservation Officer for the Sherwood Valley Rancheria Band of Pomo Indians.  The article, Tribes Say CalTrans Illegally Destroying Historical Sites for Bypass, written by Marc Dadagan, reveals a "documented violation of the National Historic Preservation Act regulations meant to protect tribal heritage and resources."  At issue is the construction of a 5.9 mile bypass around the Northern California town of Willits, with constructed undertaken by the California Department of Transportation (CalTrans).  The route goes through the ancestral home of many Pomo tribal members in the area.  At issue is not only the destruction of the area, but the tragic loss of artifacts.  The tribe is not attempting to stop the construction, but to assure that the tribe's history is protected.  As Hillary noted, "We’re only a couple generations from removal, and they’re destroying our time capsules that could give us snapshots of what happened and what wasn’t preserved through oral history.”  For more information, go to the full article at Indian Country Today.

Friday, November 14, 2014

LL.M. Alum Terry Centner receives Distinguished Service Award

Terry Centner

Congratulations to LL.M. Alum Terry Centner

We are pleased to share news of LL.M. Alum Terry Centners' recognition during the 2014 American Agricultural Law Association Conference. Professor Centner received the Distinguished Service Award for his many contributions to the AALA and to the agricultural community as a whole.

Terry is a Professor for the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. He teaches four law courses for the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and serves as the pre-law advisor for students interested in law school. He helped to develop a minor in agricultural and environmental law for AG*IDEA, "a national consortium of universities offering programs and courses in agricultural disciplines," providing distance learning and coursework, to students. He teaches in this national program. For his lecture courses, Centner employs the Socratic method to develop the whole student. He structures his courses so that students prepare for class, answer questions written in his course text and learn how to analyze legal issues. He also injects ethics in to the classroom through questions about current events and group exercises. Centner has lectured at 17 foreign universities, taught as a Fulbright Senior Scholar at the University of Mannheim in Germany and has been named to the Fulbright-Scotland Visiting Professorship at the University of Aberdeen, where he will teach in the spring of 2015. As part of his research program, Centner works with undergraduate students on timely policy issues. In fact, seven students have co-written papers in refereed journals and one has co-authored a book chapter. Centner is the author of three books –"Empty Pastures," "Blame Culture" and "Environmental Law" – and served as president of the American Agricultural Law Association. Centner has published 56 law journal articles and 91 refereed articles in agricultural and environmental scientific journals. He has presented his research in more than 35 countries.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

David Grahn visits LL.M. Program

David Grahn returns to teach Agricultural Policy & the Federal Budget

This week, we were proud to welcome our good friend David Grahn who flew in from Washington, D.C. to teach a condensed course for us, Agricultural Policy and the Federal Budget.

David serves in the USDA Office of General Counsel as Associate General Counsel International Affairs, Food Assistance, and Farm and Rural Programs Division.  He represents the interests of a wide range of USDA entities: Farm Service Agency, Risk Management Agency / Federal Crop Insurance Corporation, Rural Development Agency, Rural Business Service, Rural Utilities Service, Foreign Agricultural Service, the Food and Nutrition Service, and the Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion.

David spent Monday, Tuesday, and part of Wednesday in concentrated sessions with our LL.M. students, explaining complex aspects of agricultural policy development.  Much of the class was devoted to understanding how the federal budget drives policy development and how administrative law can be used strategically to affect policy outcomes.  It was a practical, real-world look at how agencies work, how political goals can best be met, and how money works in Washington.

The LL.M. students were delighted with the class. A special note that is a testimony to David's professionalism -  in order to avoid any possible conflict of interest, David volunteers his time to the LL.M. Program.  He takes vacation days, pays his own travel and stays with Christopher and Susan in their cabin in the Ozark Mountains. Their menagerie of dogs and cats also think he is just the greatest. Thanks, David. It's always a pleasure to have you with us.

Dr. Jeff Pettis discusses Pollinators and Colony Collapse Disorder with LL.M. Class

Dr. Jeff Pettis, one of the most widely respected experts on bee research recently joined the LL.M. Class for a discussion on pollinators and colony collapse disorder. With our new distance technology, Dr. Pettis was able to engage distance and face to face students alike in a robust Q & A session. Our thanks to Dr. Pettis.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Appreciation to our LL.M. Veterans

A special note of thanks to our veterans

Each year, we are proud to honor and to thank the military veterans that have attended the LL.M. Program over our 30 year history. Our thanks to all of our veterans for serving our nation so well.
This year, we extend our thanks to current L.L.M. Candidates Brian Mathison and S. Patrick Morin Jr. 
 Brian Mathison is enrolled as a part time online candidate, while he serves full time as an Instructor in the Department of Chemistry and Life Sciences at the United States Military Academy, West Point.  Brian's military experience includes: Administrative and Operational Law Attorney, Joint Special Operations Task Force, Afghanistan Trial Counsel, 11th Air Defense Artillery Brigade, Ft. Bliss, Texas Trial Counsel, Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), Daegu, Korea Deputy Legal Advisor, Joint Task Force-North (JTF-N), Ft. Bliss, Texas Special Assistant U.S. Attorney (SAUSA), Office of the Staff Judge Advocate, Ft. Bliss, Texas Legal Assistance Attorney, Tax Center Officer-in-Charge.

S. Patrick Morin, Jr. is enrolled as a part-time online candidate and serves Of Counsel with Dickinson Wright PLLC in Michigan. Pat is a Board Member of the Veterans Bar Association and served as Captain in the United States Marine Corps. His awards include the Navy Commendation Medal, Iraqi Liberation Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, Global War on Terrorism Medal, Navy Unit Commendation Medal, National Defense Medal, Sea Service Deployment Medal.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

LL.M. Alumni Elected to AALA Board of Directors

Alumni from the LL.M. Program at the University of Arkansas School of Law have always been active members of the American Agricultural Law Association (AALA). This year, we have alumni serving with special distinction. We just reported that Beth Crocker was selected to be the AALA President-Elect. We are also pleased to announce that two of our alumni were elected to serve on the AALA Board of Directors.

Jeff Peterson and Jennifer Zwaggerman Elected to AALA Board of Directors

LL.M. alumni Jeff Peterson and Jennifer Zwaggerman were elected to serve on the AALA Board of Directors.

Jeff Peterson
Jeff Peterson is a shareholder with Gray, Plant Mooty, a law firm with offices in Minneapolis and St. Cloud, Minnesota and Washington, D.C. Jeff practices in the areas of commercial transactions, creditors’ rights, bankruptcy and agricultural law. He is the co-managing partner of the St Cloud office and the co-chair of the Commercial Financial Services practice group at Gray, Plant Mooty. Jeff is licensed in Minnesota and Kansas and is a past president of the business law section of the Kansas Bar Association. He is a frequent speaker and organizer of agricultural finance topics at the AALA annual meeting and is a member of the AALA communications committee.

Jeff was raised on a dairy farm in northwest Wisconsin. He was a commodity analyst and branch manager at the Kansas City trading office of Cenex Harvest States prior to going to law school at the University of Kansas. He has an LL.M. in agricultural law from the University of Arkansas. Jeff and his wife Stephanie have two kids under five that keep them busy.

Jennifer Williams Zwaggerman
Jennifer Williams Zwagerman is the Director of Career Development at Drake Law School and teaches agricultural and food law classes in the law school. She is a 2004 graduate of Drake Law School, where she received the Food and Agricultural Law Certificate and graduated with highest honors. She received her LL.M. in Agricultural Law from the University of Arkansas and served for two years as a law clerk to Judge David Hansen, Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. After completing her clerkship in 2007, she joined the Des Moines office of Faegre & Benson (n/k/a/ Faegre Baker Daniels) where she was an attorney in the general litigation group, with a national practice in food and agricultural law.  During her time at the firm, Jennifer extensively wrote and spoke on food and agricultural law-related issues. Jennifer spent the 2010-2011 school year at Drake as the Faegre & Benson Visiting Scholar, where she worked with students and taught courses focusing on her specialty: food and agricultural law. Jennifer served as the Editor-in-Chief of the Drake Journal of Agricultural Law while in law school, and her LL.M. thesis was later published in the Spring 2009 edition of the Journal. She also co-authored a piece on the Food Safety Modernization Act that was published in the Hamline Journal of Public Law & Policy’s 2011 Food and Agricultural Law Symposium issue.  A member of AALA since 2001 when she was a first-year law student, she currently teaches courses in food and agricultural law and serves as Director of Career Development at Drake Law.  Jennifer has presented at several AALA conferences over the past decade and is currently a member of the AALA Communications Committee.  She is also actively involved in her state and county bar associations.

We are proud of our alumni's leadership in the AALA.  Congratulations, Jeff and Jennie.

LL.M. Alumna Beth Crocker Elected AALA President-Elect

Alumni from the LL.M. Program at the University of Arkansas School of Law have always been active members of the American Agricultural Law Association (AALA). This year, we have alumni serving with special distinction.

American Agricultural Law Association Election Results:  AALA President-Elect Beth Crocker

We are pleased to announce that LL.M. Alumna Anne "Beth" Crocker was elected to serve as President-elect of the American Agricultural Law Association (AALA).

Beth is the Assistant General Counsel for Clemson University in South Carolina. Her emphasis areas are: drafting state legislation and regulations; agricultural legal and regulatory issues; administrative law; state property leases; state contract and procurement review; Freedom of Information Requests; software license review; policy development and implementation; organization and management of associations and clubs.

Prior to joining Clemson University, Beht served for 10 years as General Counsel and Director of Legal Affairs for the S.C. Department of Agriculture (SCDA), including service as a Government Liaison for the agency and coordinating special projects such as:  SCDA liaison in the Statewide Farm to School program, emphasizing GAP certification for farmers, school gardens and serving local produce in school meals; coordinating partnerships with the University of SC and Clemson University to host on-campus Farmers Markets (2008 – 2013); coordinating the SC School Garden Program (2007 – 2013); SCDA Liaison and staff coordinator for the S.C. Food Policy Council (2005 – 2013) which hosted its first statewide Food Desert Workshop in 2012; partnering with the state Transportation and Tourism agencies to draft and support the recent passage of the Tourist Oriented Directional Signage (TODS) legislation;  State Milk Tax Credit program coordinator (2004-2013); and SCDA liaison in the Department’s partnership with Clemson University for the S.C. Commissioner’s School for Agriculture, a summer academic program for rising high school juniors and seniors interested in exploring careers in agriculture, forestry and natural resources (2004 – 2013).

Beth received her BS degree in pre-veterinary medicine from Clemson University, and then was drawn to agricultural law studies and received her  J.D. from Drake Law School. She then earned her LL.M. degree in agricultural law from our Program at the University of Arkansas.

Beth has been a member of the AALA since 1998 when she joined as a 1L in law school.  She has served on the awards committee and the communications committee, as well as serving on the Board of Directors from 2011-13.  Beth is also the recipient of the 2013 AALA Excellence in Agricultural Law award for her work in the Government practice area.

In her role as President-elect of AALA, Beth will be responsible for planning the 2015 AALA Educational Symposium, which coincidentally will be held in Charleston, South Carolina October 21 – 23, 2015.  The following year, she will serve as President of the AALA, and then serve on the board as Past-President for 2016-17.

When not working or serving AALA, Beth trains and shows her Boykin Spaniel, Jake and various competitive venues including hunt test, Rally, conformation and obedience.   Her retired Champion Gordon Setter accompanies them when she is not reigning the roost at home in Clemson, SC, along with Zeb the cat.

Congratulation, Beth.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Professor Civita Publishes "Agrarians Feeding Communities"

Professor Civita’s latest article, Agrarians Feeding Communities: Reconnecting Federal Farm Policy and Nutrition Assistance For a More Just Agri-food System was recently published in the Northwestern Interdisciplinary Law Review.

Agrarians Feeding Communities (i) surveys the promise of and the obstacles facing the diverse and diffuse food movement, (ii) examines the objectives of, problems with, and politics related to past and present federal farm and food policy, and (iii) explores opportunities for using federal policy to simultaneously support farmers, nourish the hungry, reward socially and ecologically responsible practices, generate economic opportunity, and strengthen communities.

This article strives to bridge the gap between federal farm policy and the food movement by identifying legitimate shared goals and looking for synergistic solutions. It recommends a holistic and coordinated approach to federal agricultural and nutrition policy based on the natural interconnectedness of producers and consumers. Finally, it advances substantial support for what Professor Civita has termed "responsible regional agriculture" through a market-based reform of nutrition assistance. With this piece, Professor Civita calls for scaling up the political relevance of the food movement, reframing the public debate around farm subsidies and nutrition assistance: "Rather than leveraging the interests of agriculture against the needs of the food insecure for political advantage or pitting big ag against its more idealistic little siblings, we need a call for federal policies that prioritize responsible regional agriculture, regardless of scale, and empower all consumers, regardless of their means."

In the words of John Secaras, the Editor-in-Chief of the NILR, Professor Civita’s coverage of our nation’s complicated food system and corresponding federal policy" as well as her "impressive research and commentary on the possibility of a reformed American food system add[] depth and ingenuity to th[e] growing field [of food policy] in a way that any reader can appreciate."

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Martha Noble Presents on Agricultural Biotechnology & the Law

Martha Noble is presenting two special lectures for the LL.M. Program, speaking on Agricultural Biotechnology and the Law as part of our agricultural law survey class, Food, Farming & Sustainability.

Martha is a recognized leader in sustainable agriculture and agricultural law.  She previously taught Environmental Law at the University of Arkansas School of Law and also taught a variety of classes in the LL.M Program. She served as a Research Professor and Staff Attorney at the National Center for Agricultural Law when it was part of the law school.

Martha served for a number of years as a Senior Policy Associate with the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition in Washington, D.C.  The Coalition is a nationwide alliance of sustainable agriculture, rural development, and environmental organizations.

She has been a leader in the Agricultural Management Committee of the American Bar Association’s Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources and has served on the Board of Directors of the Clean Water Network.  She has also served on the U.S. EPA’s Farm, Ranch and Rural Communities Advisory Committee in two administrations.

Martha received a law degree from the School of Law at the University of California, Berkeley.  She recently relocated to California, and she will be teaching a full course in Agricultural Biotechnology& the Law next semester. We are honored and delighted to have her back on our faculty.

Michele Simon, author of Appetite for Profit visits the LL.M. Class for Q&A session

Students in the LL.M. Food Law & Policy class were recently joined by Michele Simon, a well known public health lawyer with a specialization in the food industry and food politics. Michele is the author of Appetite for Profit: How the Food Industry Undermines Our Health and How to Fight Back, published by Nations Books, 2006.  She provides legal services to food and beverage companies, working "of counsel" with our alumni Jason Foscolo and Lauren Handel at Foscolo and Handel PLLC, The Food Law Firm.

Michele's visit capped off the Public Health and Food Law Unit in the Food Law & Policy class. The class was treated to a thought-provoking and at times provocative consideration of our food system. Our thanks to Michele for a great class.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Food & Agriculture Reporter Helena Bottemiller Evich visits LL.M. Class

Helena Bottemiller Evich, a food and agriculture reporter for Politico Pro joined the LL.M. Class via video conference from Washington D.C. for a special session of the Food, Farming & Sustainability class.

Before joining POLITICO, Helena spent four years reporting on food politics and policy at Food Safety News, where she covered Congress, the Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. While at Food Safety News, she worked with our LL.M. Marler Clark Graduate Assistants.  Helena's work has also appeared in the Columbia Journalism Review and on NBC News.

During the LL.M. class, Helena discussed agricultural law developments and her work as an agricultural and food reporter. Thanks to Helena for an interesting and informative class.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

EPA Recognizes Food Recovery Project with Achievement Award

EPA Gives University Achievement Award for Food Recovery
Posted on October 20, 2014

The University of Arkansas continues to receive accolades and recognition for its pioneering work on food waste prevention and food recovery promotion. The university recently received a 2013 Achievement Award from the United States Environmental Protection Agency in connection with the agency’s Food Recovery Challenge. Ron Curry, EPA Region 6 Administrator, presented the award certificate to Carlos Ochoa, director of the Office for Sustainability, at the Arkansas Recycling Coalition Conference.

The EPA praised the university for its tenacity in confronting and conquering barriers to food recovery, its practical effectiveness in implementing food recovery on campus, its leadership in modeling and facilitating food recovery engagement, and its collaborations with area food businesses to promote sustainable food waste management practices in Arkansas. 

Carlos Ochoa (L) and Nicole Civita (R) receive the 2013 EPA Achievement Award

As Ochoa emphasized in his acceptance remarks, the university’s advances in sustainable food management practices have resulted from collaboration among various units and stakeholders on campus: The Office of Sustainability has made food waste reduction and food recovery an institutional priority in line with its goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2040. The School of Law’s Food Recovery Project has provided the legal information and expertise needed to allay concerns about potential liability and insure that the university’s food recovery efforts are safe and effective. The School of Social Work and the Department of Political Science of the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Science also brought attention to the twin problems of food waste and hunger and the importance of food recovery at its inaugural Food Justice Summit in Nov. 2013.

The university’s efforts are bolstered by its students who recover food from its dining halls and retail food establishments and who founded and operate Razorback Food Recovery as one of the Volunteer Action Center’s flagship programs. Food recovery would also be impossible without the cooperation of the dining services provider, Chartwells, and its staff, who set aside and donate wholesome unsold food at the end of the day for donation to the campus Full Circle Food Pantry and other emergency food programs in Fayetteville.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Nicole Civita presents on Food Justice at Conference in Wyoming

Visiting Assistant Professor Nicole Civita delivered several well-received presentations on food justice, food insecurity, food waste and recovery at the 2014 Consumer Issues Conference — Food: Policies, Perceptions, & Practices.  During her brief trip to Laramie, Wyoming, Professor Civita delivered a thought-provoking lunchtime plenary address that explored food justice and the power and limits of consumer-driven reform.  She also contributed to two panel discussions regarding food waste and recovery and served as a feature discussant after a screening of the documentary, A Place at the Table.

The Consumer Issues Conference is an interdisciplinary project organized by several University of Wyoming. Colleges, including Law, Agriculture, Health and Business and supported by outside partnering organizations, including Colorado State University Extension and the Wyoming Department of Health. This annual conference is “designed to focus on public policy issues affecting consumers and the consumer marketplace, and to inspire people to be active in bringing about change in the legal and market environment.” In its 14th year, the conference put a spotlight on food — a product which every consumer requires multiple times a day. Conference organizers, speakers and attendees investigated and engaged in a lively dialog about a broad range of consumer issues related to food including food insecurity, food marketing, advertising, labeling, and grading, nutrition and health, food safety, food waste, and the relative geographic span of food systems.

During her plenary address, Choosing Food Justice, Professor Civita sought to synthesize the wide range of issues that relate to food and to view them through the lens of busy, hungry consumers juggling the many demands of modern life. She surveyed the scope of food justice as a discipline and a movement, explored the personal, market-driven, and legal dimensions of food choice, and identified specific areas where advocates for a more equitable food system can productively engage with the law and press for reform.  

Representing our Food Recovery Project, Nicole illustrated the magnitude of America’s food waste problem and situated this problem next to our growing and unacceptable food insecurity problem in the piktochart titled Wasted: The Consequences of Undervaluing Food | Piktochart Infographic Editor.

She then suggested food recovery as an elegant way to address both issues, taught attendees about the legal protections for food businesses and non-profits who engage food recovery and charitable feeding, and introduced several remaining legal drivers of food waste and obstacles to food recovery.

Professor Civita was delighted to connect with many articulate advocates for and visionary contributors to a more just, health-promoting, and sustainable food system at the conference including the Administrator of the USDA’s Food & Nutrition Service, Audrey Rowe, Consumer’s Union Senior Scientist, Dr. Michael Hansen, and Director of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization's Liaison Office for North America, Nicholas Nelson. The LL.M. program is excited to report that these luminaries have accepted our invitation lecture to our students via video-conference in the near future, allowing us to continue leveraging our new technologically-enhanced classroom and distance education capacity to connect our candidates with leading experts in agricultural and food law, policy & practice.

Nicole extends her appreciation and gratitude to the organizers of the conference, and especially to Professors Dee Pridgen & Virginia Vincenti, for putting together such a well-thought out conference, encouraging dialog at the nexus of food system and consumer related issues, and being wonderful hosts.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Janie Hipp attends White House discussion on women in agriculture

The article below was originally posted by the Indigenous Food & Agriculture Initiative blog. Read the article below or find the original posting here.

A Week of Celebrating Native #WomeninAg

IFAI Director, Janie Hipp (Chickasaw), attended a dialogue at the White House today, focusing on the future of women in agriculture. USDA, through Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden, and the White House, through the White House Rural Council office, sponsored the talk, inviting stakeholders from across the ag sector to participate in a dialogue about the importance of women to the future of
agricultural production. Participants were welcomed by Secretary Tom Vilsack and Deputy Secretary Harden of USDA and Cecilia Muñoz, Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council. In attendance were representatives from agribusinesses, universities, youth organizations, and nonprofit organizations, all discussing barriers women face in the ag sector, successful ongoing and past efforts to place women in the ag sector in leadership roles, and how to support future generations of young women in this crucial field. As IFAI's representative for this meeting, Janie lifted up the importance of Native women and their contributions to agriculture, both now and in the past, as well as the critical need to engage more of our young women in this space.

During the discussion, participants brought up the importance of financial literacy as well as solid estate and succession planning. The dialogue highlighted the troubling problem of the aging of the American farmer, both in and out of Indian Country, a problem that affects all farmers regardless of gender: the most recent national agriculture census data shows that the average age of all principal operators in the US is 58.3 years, while average ages for American Indian and Alaska Native operators and female operators are 55.5 and 60, respectively. Young farmers are difficult to find-- the census data's lowest participant category is for farmers 25 and younger, with only 10,714 young farmers responding. Panel participants at the White House today concluded that aggressive m
arketing is needed across genders to support all young people who wish to have careers in agriculture. Stakeholders from across the industry made suggestions about the recruitment of young women into agriculture, as well as continuing support for young men. The dialogue included a discussion about corporate stakeholders partnering with universities to create better mentoring and internship opportunities for youth, as well as corporations embedding support for young producers all along the supply chain.

Focusing specifically on Indian Country, Ken Auer of Farm Credit Council noted that the highest number of farms and ranches owned by women is in Indian Country. Auer also said that Farm Credit Council is currently looking for new and innovative ways to support Native women in agriculture.

One of the points made during today's discussion was that we need to be more intentional about elevating the honoring of dynamic women in agriculture. We're going to spend our week doing just that: we'll be posting, blogging, and tweeting about the amazing Native women in ag who inspire us-- beginning, of course, with the twenty-one incredible young women from our first class of Native Youth in Agriculture Summer Summit participants.

Discussions like this one only further remind us of the importance of programs that focus on our youth-- all of them. The future of Indian Country agriculture is theirs, and they deserve our strongest support. We need to highlight their accomplishments and imbue them with the courage to lead their communities.  You all inspire us!

Who inspires YOU? Let us know! Use #WomeninAg to join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook!

Monday, October 20, 2014

LL.M. Alumna A-dae Romero writes in celebration of World Food Day

LL.M. Alumna and White House Champion of Change A-dae Romero recently wrote a piece in celebration of World Food Day. The original article found here is copied below.

The Cochiti Farmer
By Vena A-dae Romero, White House Champion of Change, Co-Founder of Cochiti Youth Experience, Inc., Granddaughter of a Pueblo Farmer

I come from a 1000s generations of farmers. Cochiti people, my people, farmed in New Mexico, now in the arid Southwest United States for centuries. Much like other Pueblos in the Southwest, Cochiti people are as much part of the land as the land is part of us. We cultivate the land while the land cultivates us. This relationship that has supported my people since time immemorial is remembered daily when we place our fingers in the dirt, pull the weeds from our fields, or plant our seeds with water, prayer, and hope, cook the food which we grow, and ingest the world with each bite of food we eat. We honor this relationship when we teach our children the beauty of growing and eating food, the same foods that were eaten by our grandparents, our great grandparents, and all generations before them. The importance of the Cochiti farmer is no less than the bearer of generational knowledge that connects our people to our lands and the life that is sustained on it and by it, and the protector of that world for all future generations of Cochiti people.

I come from a 1000 generations of farmers. When in one generation, my small community was faced with the question of who we would be without farming, Cochiti resoundingly responded that we would fight for our grandchildren to farm or perish in attempting to assert that right; a right that was neither granted to us by modern legal systems but by virtue of our very creation. In the early 1980’s, a poorly constructed dam began to leak and flooded much of the fertile farmlands that sustained Cochiti for generations. Cochiti grandfathers and grandmothers who were faced with losing an entire agricultural way of life in one single generation collectively responded that they would fight for future generations of Cochiti children to farm and be connected to our lands. Even if that fight was with the single most powerful government in the world, the United States. While the government tried to persuade and compensate for loss of land, Cochiti farmers would not settle for less than the restoration of our farmlands. The Cochiti farmer is warrior and protector.

I come from 1000 generations of farmers, who long before economies functioned well were able to sustain entire communities on scare resources through famine and drought. Many of these well-established resource systems such as water and food management that were developed in Pueblo histories are still practiced today and still function as a guide for social interaction and community development presently. The current modern industrial agricultural system seeks to replace old Pueblo farm ways with new modern ones that may involve systemic technologies, fewer people, more synthetic soil additives that produce greater yields. Yet, it is still often heard from traditional Pueblo farmers, “I farm for my family and my community. What I have left over, I may think about trading or selling.” The simplicity of such a statement embodies a world of knowledge and acknowledges our relationship with the earth in that sustainability begins with how we view crops and how much we are willing to take to sustain us. It is neither too much or too little, but often disregarded in industrial agriculture. The Cochiti farmer is an economist of sustainability.

I come from 1000 generations of Cochiti farmers whose faces and lessons are reflected in the faces of the young Cochiti children who begin learning the tenets of our collective responsibility with the first tastes of foods grown from our lands. The children, like the foods grown from our lands, our part of an age old cycle that predates any farm- a cycle that will continue throughout time, a cycle that is filled with laughter, dirt, relationships, love, sky, rain, and verbal and non-verbal language-A cycle in which grandmothers and grandfathers and children are vitally important to the present. The Cochiti farmer is a keeper of happiness.

My people are indigenous farmers, distilled to the most basic of definition of a family farmer. Perhaps, because, in so many ways, we are the farmers of the world- our family. We are the farmers of the earth- our family. We are the farmers of the four legged, the two legged, and the no legged-our family.

What is the family farmers importance? First, what is the family farmer? The man or woman who dedicates his or her life to tilling and responding to the earth? Or the man or woman who dedicates his life to producing yields? Farming, today, has come to encompass a binary definition where one has to choose whether he or she is farming to produce or farming to profit because they are no longer one in the same.

And second, to which is his family? A family defined, in the 20th century, is 2.5 children, a dog, mortgage, and spot plot of land of which can be derived an income. Yet, traditionally, my family is that of the earth, the soil, the trees, the animals, the generations to come, and the footprints of culture and tradition to which my off-spring can follow to derive a positive existence for the next generation. So what is the importance of a family farmer? And I ask, to whom?

To those children not yet born? Who will inherit an earth depleted of natural relationships between soil and sun, earth and air, wind and rain because synthetic fertilizers inhibit the natural language of a farmer and his land, his plants and his abilty to cultivate and protect. For thousands of years, the farmer has responded to the call of nature. From the first seed of corn that required the incidence of human interaction to ensure its fertilization to the current crisis of over-production that seeks to create attention through food bourne illness and supsetience to crop failure due to drought, due to pest infestation, due to a milieu of other attacks that plague monocultural agriculture.

So what is the importance of the family farmer? To the American agriculture system? Who seeks so desparelty to create a food culture that is sustainable and national so that when disaster stikes, our American community is fed. Yet, corporations seek to invest in human, natural, and intellectual capital so they can profit on the most of basic of human needs- to eat- to gain profit from the most fertile lands of earth?

What is the importance of the family farmer to the world? A nostalgic composition of human evolution, the most basic building block of community, the tie that binds people with place? The family farmer is the ideal. The definition of society. The premise on which entire civilizations become viable and begin to imagine a history that could withstand collapse, that could withstand time’s attempt to erase any trace of existence.

Or what is the importance of a famiy farmer to the land in which he tills? The universe and the relationships to which he contributes from his toxic waste that becomes the food for plants. Or his or her presence that shall become the nexus for fertilization. That single stroke in time when the natural world reminds the farmer that he or she is both natural and he or she shall return to dust.

Or what is the importance of the family farmer to a community? To which he provides both bread and produce, prayer and comfort that when all else fails- the farm will provide. The family farmer in the community is he who sustains and produces when market mechanisms fail, when science refuses to believe, and when governments try to condemn.

Vena A-dae Romero (Cochiti/Kiowa) is born and raised in Cochiti Pueblo, New Mexico as a granddaughter of a Pueblo farmer. In Cochiti, she co-founded the Cochiti Youth Experience, Inc., a non-profit organization that is dedicated to creating positive opportunities for Cochiti Youth with a special focus on strengthening Pueblo agriculture, which serves as the base of economic, political, and social institutions. The idea is that if a community can strengthen agriculture, then the stability of other institutions will follow. While working with Pueblo farmers, she realized the needs of Indigenous farmers and Tribes are often over-looked in the promulgation of agricultural law, programs, and regulations so she attended the University of Arkansas College of Law Food and Agricultural Law Program, where she received her LLM and worked with Indigenous Food and Agricultural Initiative where she wrote extensively about Indigenous farmers and food/agricultural law with a special focus on Food Safety law. She was recognized as a Fulbright scholar for her work on Indigenous food law in America and New Zealand. Now under First Nations Development Institute, whose mission is to strengthen American Indian economies to support healthy Native communities, Vena works on monitoring food and agricultural law and its affects on Indigenous producers, writes extensively about the inclusion of Indigenous Farmers in Federal programs and laws, and works with Indigenous farmers across the country to strengthen agricultural economies and develop health food and agricultural businesses. Her late grandfather, who taught her about Pueblo agriculture, jokingly said, “My granddaughter has completed all this schooling to become a farmer.”

Monday, October 13, 2014

Special Event: Indigenous Peoples of the Americas Day

Today, Monday October 13th, The Indigenous Food & Agriculture Initiative is co-sponsoring Indigenous Peoples of the Americas Day. Featured speakers include Law School Dean Stacy Leeds, and LL.M. Candidate Hillary Renick. The Initiative is operated under the direction of LL.M. Alumna Janie Simms Hipp.  The event will take place on campus in the Arkansas Union with a full event schedule concluding with a screening and discussion of the film "Ramona". Information on the days events is included in the flyers below.

Be sure to join the Facebook page at
and add Native American Student Association at


Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Alumni News: Liliana Reyes recognized as an outstanding agribusiness lawyer in Colombia

We are pleased to announce that LL.M. Alumna Liliana Reyes was recently recognized by
Legal 500 Latin America as an outstanding agribusiness lawyer in Colombia. In addition, her firm Brigard & Urrutia was named the Colombian firm of the year, according to Chambers and Partners.

 Liliana Reyes serves as a Senior Associate and provides expertise in urban and environmental, commercial, and agribusiness matters.
Congratulations Liliana!

Professor Schneider Named Wm H. Enfield Professor of Law

From the Arkansas Newswire:

Dean Stacy Leeds named Susan Schneider the William H. Enfield Professor at the University of Arkansas School of Law. Schneider teaches courses in agricultural and food law and serves as director of the law school’s master of laws program in Agricultural and Food Law. The program is the only one of its kind in the United States and is now available in an online format, drawing students from all over the world.

The endowed professorship was created by Judge William H. Enfield of Bentonville, a former professor of the University of Arkansas School of Law. In addition to serving as a professor, Enfield had a 20 year career in private practice before serving as a Circuit Judge in the 19th Judicial District in Benton County.

“I am truly honored to be selected as the William H. Enfield Professor of Law,” said Schneider. “While I did not have the opportunity to meet Judge Enfield personally, his contribution to the Arkansas bar, his dedication to the law school and his commitment to justice are well known. I hope to serve with that as my inspiration.”

“Susan is a well-recognized expert in agricultural and food law, and thanks to her leadership, our long standing LL.M. program is expanding in new and exciting ways to include distance education globally,” said Stacy Leeds, dean of the School of Law. “Judge Enfield created a lasting legacy here at the School of Law, and Professor Schneider carries his spirit of excellence forward.”

When he established the endowed professorship in 1999 Enfield said, “Remembering my experience as a professor, I wanted to find a way to help bring more quality legal talent to the university to teach future generations of lawyers.”

The first William H. Enfield Professor was John J. Watkins. The second honoree, Steve Sheppard, served as Enfield Professor for 13 years before leaving the University of Arkansas to serve as dean of St. Mary’s University School of Law in San Antonio, Texas.

Enfield graduated from the School of Law in 1948. He passed away in 2010.

Schneider earned a bachelor’s degree from the College of St. Catherine in St. Paul, Minn. She earned her J.D. at the University of Minnesota School of Law and her LL.M. in Agricultural Law from the University of Arkansas School of Law. Her private practice and advocacy work in agricultural law includes positions with firms in Arkansas, Minnesota, North Dakota, and Washington, D.C. She is a past president of the American Agricultural Law Association (AALA) and a two-term board member. She was the 2010 recipient of the AALA Distinguished Service Award.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Razorback Recovery and the Food Recovery Project Featured in Harvest Public Media Special Report

LL.M. Visiting Assistant Professor and Director of the Food Recovery Project Nicole Civita was featured recently in this Harvest Public Media Special Report about Food Waste in America.

An excerpt from the article is included below. View the full article and watch the program here.

An Abundance of Waste

Farmers and growers have made gigantic advancements in food production over the last century, ensuring more food flows from farm to table than at any time in human history. Yet, some estimates say as much as 40 percent of the food produced in the U.S. goes uneaten.

Food waste is the single-largest source of waste in municipal landfills. An incredible 35 million tons of food were thrown away in 2012, according to the EPA. As it decomposes in landfills, the waste releases methane and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Meanwhile, 1 in 6 Americans struggles with hunger and the world wonders how to address the challenge of feeding 9 billion people by 2050.

NET Nebraska and Harvest Public Media are exploring the problem of food waste in America. Watch for lots of coverage online. Harvest Public Media partner public radio stations will air a week-long series starting Monday, Sept. 22.

And tune in to your local public television on Friday, Sept. 26, for an in-depth look on “Tossed Out: Food Waste in America.” Check your local listings.

Or, watch the full TV program, right here.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

National Jurist Lists Food Law as One of Top Ten Hot Areas for Employment

The September- October Issue of National Jurist magazine includes the article, What's Hot: Ten Practice Areas that are Driving Hiring Now.  It discusses the job market for attorneys, noting that the market is picking up, but that it is also changing.  It lists the top ten areas that are expected to be "hot" in terms of opportunities and new hiring.

Food Law is number 8 on the list.  To be accurate, they refer to "food and drug law" but reading their description of the types of positions, they are clearly talking about the food law and policy arena - including the new Food Safety Modernization Act, with a regulatory reach down to the production level and the wide range of interesting legal issues involved with marijuana production and sale in states where it's legal.

We were delighted to have our LL.M. Program in Agricultural & Food Law listed along with Michigan State, where a distance LL.M. Program in Global Food Law is available.

Note that this issue also gives us another huge shout out -  the University of Arkansas School of Law is rated as #1 for Best Value in legal education.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Agricultural Law & Medical Marijuana

I suspect that when Ray Watson attended the LL.M. Program back in the late 1990's, he did not anticipate that a significant amount of his work someday would involve marijuana. Ray now serves as Illinois Department of Agriculture General Counsel, and as such, he is guiding the State of Illinois as it undertakes its Medical Cannabis Pilot Program.

Ray's pictured below during a town hall meeting at the Illinois Department of Transportation in Collinsville, Illinois.

Another report from Illinois shows hundreds of residents asking questions at a town hall meeting. Marijuana Town Hall Attracts Hundreds in Chicago. Questions ranged from practical, administrative questions on how the program will be run to those seeking assurances that the program will not have negative unintended consequences.  We are confident that Ray handled all of the questions with care, professionalism, and accurate information.

 A new chapter in a good agricultural lawyer's career.

Ray Watson, Illinois Department of Agriculture General Counsel, answers questions about the State of Illinois Medical Cannabis Pilot Program during a town hall meeting at the Illinois Department of Transportation in Collinsville, Thursday, Aug. 14, 2014. Photo by Roberto Rodriguez,

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Fayetteville, Arkansas - One of the Best College Towns in America

The vast majority of our LL.M. candidates are from outside Arkansas.  Many of our applicants and potential applicants wonder what Northwest Arkansas is really like -  

Consider this article reposted from the Fayetteville Flyer:

For the second year in a row, Fayetteville was named as one of the best college towns in the nation. this week released its annual list of the Top 10 Best College Towns, which ranked Fayetteville as No. 4. 
The website, which provides data for small-and medium-sized cities, also compiles annual best-of lists based on the data it collects throughout the year. It lists Fayetteville with a population just shy of 76,000 and a median income of $37,383. 
This is the fifth year has published its best-of list for college towns. It’s Fayetteville’s second appearance on the list. The city was named No. 9 in 2013.‘s ranking criteria included affordable housing, educational attainment, walkability and student population. 
1. Ames, Iowa
2. Logan, Utah
3. Oxford, Ohio
4. Fayetteville, Arkansas
5. Tempe, Arizona
6. Charlottesville, Virginia
7. Champaign, Illinois
8. Moscow, Idaho
9. South Bend, Indiana
10. Hattiesburg, Mississippi 
This year, cities were divided up by their college’s Football Bowl Subdivision conference and then ranked within each group before compiling the list. That means Fayetteville beat out all other SEC college towns, and was then ranked as the fourth-best in the nation. 
Ranking criteria included affordable housing, educational attainment, walkability and student population. 
After livability aspects were calculated, the list was skewed toward measuring the impact each college and university has on its cities and what would make life better for college-aged people. 
A close look was given at cities with a high concentration of degree-holders and of 25-to-34 year-olds to see if they were the kinds of cities that students would want to stay in once they graduated. 
Finally, the website counted the number of restaurants, music venues, bike trails, parks and festivals in each city, and included any partnerships that exist between the colleges and towns. 
“From its hip strip of shops, bars and restaurants to the bike paths and walking trails that snake through the city, Fayetteville, Ark., greatly accommodates the college lifestyle,” wrote the website. “Southern charm meshes with a modern arts scene and innovative businesses to create a place that draws young families who crave a unique yet traditional small-town vibe.” 
Fayetteville was the only city from last year to make the list in 2014, but not every city is new to the series. Oxford, Ohio made the list in 2011 and 2012; Champaign, Ill. and Logan, Utah made it in 2012; and Charlottesville, Va. charted in 2010.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Employment News: Erin Shirl

We are pleased to report that over the summer, Erin Shirl, an LL.M candidate in last year's class, accepted a position as Staff Attorney & Visiting Research Professor of Law with the Indigenous Food & Agriculture Initiative at the University of Arkansas School of Law.

Erin has been serving as a Staff Attorney and Visiting Research Professor for the Initiative since late July. Her duties include research, writing, and program and course development. She hopes to help start several new Initiative programs during the course of her appointment, as well as continue to support existing programming, like the Initiative’s summer summit for Native youth who are considering career options in agricultural fields.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Employment News: Kelly Damewood at California Certified Organic Foundation

We are pleased to report that over the summer, Kelly Damewood, an LL.M candidate in last year's class, accepted a position as Policy Director with the well-regarded California Certified Organic Foundation (CCOF).  While in the LL.M. Program, Kelly served as the Marler Clark Graduate Assistant, working as a journalist for Food Safety News, the online publication with worldwide distribution.

Kelly will lead CCOF’s policy staff and organize member engagement on issues related to the National Organic Program (NOP), National Organic Standards Board (NOSB), Farm Bill, and other aspects of agricultural policy.  Congratulations to Kelly -  we know you will do a great job.

Friday, September 5, 2014

A USA Today story on food waste references research by Professor Nicole Civita and LL.M. alumnus James Haley for the Food Recovery Project in the LL.M. Program in Agricultural and Food Law

View the original article here.

Dumpster dining: Environmentalist fights food waste
John Wisely, Detroit Free Press 8:19 p.m. EDT August 31, 2014

Rob J. Greenfield, 28, of San Diego is an environmental activist who is crossing the country on his bicycle dumpster diving to show how much food is wasted in the country annually. He hits a set of dumpsters behind Glory Market in Oak Park, Mich., Aug. 31, 2014.(Photo: Regina H. Boone, Detroit Free Press)

DETROIT — Rob Greenfield spent Sunday morning shopping for food.

By 11 a.m., he already had salmon, multigrain breads, Starbucks coffee, oranges, bananas, avocados, tomatoes and peppers. For dessert, he had cakes, cookies and spice drop candies. He even picked up some microbrew beer.

He's not planning a Labor Day cookout. Greenfield is an environmental activist who's traveling part of the country to shop in dumpsters behind grocery stores, drugs stores and other places to draw attention to the amount of food that is wasted every day in America.

Conducting what he calls food fiascos, Greenfield takes the edible food he finds in each city, then displays it in one spot to show how much of it there is. Metro Detroit is his latest stop on a two month campaign that began in Madison, Wis., and ends in New York City.

"We've collected a couple thousand dollars worth of food today," Greenfield said this morning as he took a quick inventory at a stop in Clawson. "All of this stuff is still good."

Greenfield peeled a slightly brown banana and took a bite.


An app that reduces food waste

Some of the items had expiration dates of Saturday, Sunday or Monday, but others are good until next month. Most of the items are still in sealed packages. The salmon was still cold when he found it.

His lessons are aimed at both consumers and the stores that supply their food. His goals are:

• Reduce the amount of food by better inventory control.

• Encourage stores to donate food to non-profits that get it to people in need.

• Promote composting of food that can't be eaten by humans.

Rob J. Greenfield, 28, of San Diego finds grapes, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, and more that he eats as he digs them out of a dumpster in Oak Park, Mich.(Photo: Regina H. Boone, Detroit Free Press)

Greenfield said some corporations are coming around to the idea of donating surplus food, but most are still behind the times. The number one reason corporations have given him for not donating their food is the fear of liability if someone gets sick from eating it.

But he said that fear was put to rest in 1996, when President Clinton signed the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act, which shields food donors from liability in most cases, though not for gross negligence or intentional misconduct.

Greenfield pointed to a 2013 study by the University of Arkansas School of Law that examined litigation related to food donation.


Your daily bread: Bag it, freeze it, to prevent waste

"A thorough search of filings and review of reported decisions did not turn up a single case that involved food donation-related liability or any attempts to get around the protections offered by the Bill Emerson Act," the study's authors, James Haley and Nicole Civita, wrote.

Through his website, Greenfield prompts sustainable living and he practices what he preaches.

A 28-year-old Ashland, Wis., native who makes his home in San Diego, he converted to vegetarian lifestyle and decided to focus on sustainable living. He carries no cash or credit cards, travels barefoot and mostly by bicycle.

He sleeps in a tent or taps the kindness of strangers for a bed for the night and a warm shower. A web-based network of touring cyclists includes people who open their homes to travelers like Greenfield free of charge.

Rob J. Greenfield, 28, of San Diego, is an environmental activist who is crossing the country on his bicycle dumpster diving to show how much food is wasted in the country annually.(Photo: Regina H. Boone, Detroit Free Press)

He eats food from dumpsters and gets his water from dripping taps.

He's never gone hungry, gotten ill, been arrested or failed to find plenty of food.

"He's an inspiration to me," said Julie Palmer, 43, of Ypsilanti. "He lives life with so much joy."

Palmer became a fan of Greenfield after a friend posted a link to Greenefield's website, When she and her husband, Seth, learned he was coming to Michigan, they volunteered to help.

To collect his food, they agreed to help shuttle him around in their Chevrolet Traverse, driving him to various grocery stores in the suburbs of Detroit and filling up the back with what they found.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

The Upgraded LL.M. Classroom

We have mentioned the upgrade of the LL.M. study in prior posts.  And, our announcements of the new distance program have consistently included reference to the use of state-of-the-art technology.  So -  many of you are probably anxious to see what the "new" LL.M. Study looks like.  Here are some photos, with more to come showing our video-conferencing in action.

Shown left is a view that shows the three screens mounted on the north wall of the classroom.  And, it shows the attractive, and media-friendly blue wall.  No more washed out professors (hey, no jokes)  when video-conferencing.  There are three screens on each side to allow multiple use and clear access from all angles.

We'll post a video that shows an example of our video conferencing soon.

Shown right is the south wall -  with its bank of screens, again on an attractive blue wall. 

Of course, we still have fantastic natural lighting from the floor to ceiling windows that form the entire south wall of the classroom.  These windows look out onto the campus, specifically the tree-lined Garland Avenue walkway.

While Professor Neil Hamilton was here, ‎Kris Katrosh, Media Production Manager from the University of Arkansas Global Campus came by to interview him for a video that Kris is producing for us this Fall. Stay tuned.

The photo to the left shows Kris and his colleagues testing out the lighting and sound for the interview. Neil commented on what professionals they were and enjoyed the interview. Thanks to our friends at Global Campus, who are helping us every step of the way to make our new distance education track successful.

Our classes each have their own web page in Blackboard, with readings and other resources available electronically. We offer video-conferencing with our distance students (allowing them to participate fully in the class),  recording of the classes for later viewing, and interactive online discussions. So - lots of new features and a full use of new technology -  while we continue to maintain the small class interaction that has always been the hallmark of our Program.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Welcome to the Fall 2014 Incoming LL.M. Class

We are delighted to welcome 9 face-to-face LL.M. candidates to Fayetteville.  Eight are out-of-state students; they have moved to Arkansas from Alaska, Illinois, North Carolina, Oregon, Texas, and Washington, D.C. One student is from Arkansas.  Three are 2014 law school graduates, and the remaining 6 are experienced attorneys.

We are also very pleased to welcome our inaugural class in the distance track.  These students will be integrated into the face-to-face classroom through video conferencing, classroom capture, online communication, and blended classroom settings.  We are proud to have 8 distance LL.M. candidates with us.  All are out-of-state students, and they live and work in Colorado, Georgia, Michigan, New York, Oklahoma, Virginia, Illinois, and Washington, D.C.  All are experienced attorneys. Three have significant military experience and have been recognized for their leadership and service.

Welcome to our incoming class.  It's is going to be another great year.  Here are introductory bios of most of the class.

Full Time Face to Face LL.M. Candidates

Tiffany Alvoid (Carrollton, Texas)
J.D., UCLA Law School
Concentration in Critical Race Studies
Participation in Environmental Law Clinic
Research Assistant to Professor Russell Robinson (racial and gender discrimination law)
B.J., News-Editorial w/concentrations in History and English, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Golden Key National Honor Society
University of Pittsburg Semester at Sea Study Abroad Program (Cuba, Brazil, South Africa, Tanzania, India, South Korea and Japan)
Professional experience includes: Of Counsel, Law Office of Edith K. Thomas; Attorney, Small Business Administration; Associate Attorney, Gllespie, Rozen & Watsky; Staff Attorney, Texas RioGrande Legal Aid
Publication: Taking the Question Out of Deposition Preparation, ABA’s Young Lawyers Division (Dec. 2011)
Admitted to practice law in Texas

Justin Crawley (Bryson City, North Carolina)
J.D., Appalachian School of Law
Senior Editor, APPALACHIAN NATURAL RESOURCES LAW JOURNAL (recipient of “Exceptional Service Award” for outstanding performance)
President and Chief of Executive Board, Environmental Law Society
Treasurer and Community Liaison, Executive Board, Sport and Entertainment Law Society
B.S., Sports Management w/concentration in Professional Sport Management and Minor in Business Law, Western Carolina University
Professional experience includes: Legal Intern, Haywood County Clerk of Court Office in Waynesville, North Carolina, Director of Baseball Operations, Western Carolina University Athletic Dept.

Anna Dey (Austin, Texas)
J.D., Seattle University School of Law
Paralegal Certificate with Honors, University of San Diego Paralegal Program
B.A., English, Cornell University
Professional experience includes: Adjunct Professor of Legal Research & Writing, Des Moines Area Community College; Program Attorney, ABA Rule of Law Initiative, Legal Skills Program, Monrovia, Liberia; Staff Attorney, PP Heartland, Inc., Des Moines; Legislative Director and Staff Attorney, American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa; Associate Attorney/Financial & Office Manager, Dickey & Campbell, PLC
Admitted to practice law in Iowa

Trevor Findley (Aumsville, Oregon) 
J.D., Cum Laude, Willamette University College of Law
Certificates in Business Law, International and Comparative Law
Note and Comment Editor, WILLAMETTE LAW REVIEW
Graduate Certificate in Homeland Security/Defense, University of Colorado at Colorado Springs
M. Ed., Curriculum & Instruction, University of Nevada Las Vegas
B.A., International Studies, Willamette University
Professional experience includes: Associate Attorney (Creditors’ Rights, Bankruptcy Group; Litigation Group), Saalfeld Griggs, PC; Certified Law Clerk (Juvenile Division), Marion County District Attorney; Teach for America, Las Vegas Valley, 5th Grade Classroom Teacher
Admitted to practice law in Oregon

Diane MacDonald (Chicago, Illinois)
LL.M., Taxation, with honors, Golden Gate University School of Law
J.D., with honors, IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law
M.Sc., Economics, London School of Economics & Political Science
B.A., Economics, Bucknell University
Professional experience includes: Associate Attorney, Baker & McKenzie (international trade, including antidumping and trade compliance assistance); Associate Attorney, Barnes, Richardson & Colburn (import/export compliance); Product Manager, Export, ClearCross, Inc.
Publications include:  
Personal Data Privacy and the WTO, with C. Streatfeild, 36 Hous. J. of Int’l L. (Summer, 2014); Who is a "Person" Under the U.S. Import Laws?, PRACTICAL TRADE AND CUSTOMS STRATEGIES (May, 2014); Food Safety Modernization Act Implications for U.S. Importers, PRACTICAL TRADE AND CUSTOMS STRATEGIES (Jan., 2014);  Contributor, ABA International Trade, Year in Review 2013; Corporate Form Principles Apply to Import Law Violations, LAW360, (August 29, 2013);  Antidumping Duties on Imported Goods: Resellers Beware, 12 THE CALIFORNIA INTERNATIONAL PRACTITIONER (No. 2, 2002-2003)
Admitted to practice in New York, California, Illinois
Diane has been a frequent legal webinar speaker. She is a Licensed Customs Broker. She developed the Trade Law and Trade Agreements online class for the World Trade Institute, Pace University.

Hillary Renick (Washington, D.C.)
J.D., University of the Oregon School of Law
NALSA Public Relations Officer
Native Environmental Sovereignty Fellow, ENR Center
Research Assistant, Professor Mary Christina Wood
M.S., Cultural Resource Management, Central Washington University
Thesis on Yakama Indian Treaty Fishing and Significance of Traditional Places
Advanced Public Health studies, George Washington University
Research Assistant, Dr. David Goldsmith (Research on Native American health problems associated with exposure to agricultural pesticides)
B.A., Anthropology, American University in Washington, DC.
Professional experience includes: Tribal Historic Preservation Officer, Sherwood Valley Rancheria; Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs, FOIA Specialist, Washington, D.C.; Yakama Nation Chief Judge; Yakama Nation Air Quality Specialist; Associate Attorney, LaPena Law Corporation; Board of Trustees, California Indian Legal Service; Udall Fellow in Office of Senator Cantwell (D-WA).
Hillary is a member of the Sherwood Valley Band of Pomo Indians and descendant of the Hopland Shanel, Noyo and Fort McDermitt Paiute-Shoshone tribal communities.

Christina Rice (Charlotte, North Carolina)
J.D., with honors, Charlotte School of Law
CALI Award for Lawyering Process I
Order of the Crown Honor Society
Public Interest Law Society
Participation in The American Caribbean Law Institute Caribbean Law Clinic (Trinidad and Tobago).
Participation in the Estate Planning Law Clinic.
B.S., Business Administration & Finance/Accounting, University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Professional experience includes: Legal Intern, Law Office of Marjorie J Brown, PC; Legal Intern, SERC Reliability Corporation; Teaching Assistant for Lawyering Process; Summer Intern, Oracle Law, LLC;  Post-closing Legal Intern, Costner Law; Summer Intern, Love Sloan Law; Recovery Specialist and Customer Accounts Representative, American Honda Finance

Elizabeth Ruiz  (Anchorage, Alaska)
J.D., University of North Carolina School of Law
Honors Writing Scholar and Teaching Assistant
Vice President, Carolina Public Interest Law Organization
Pro Bono, 85 hours
B.A., English, University of South Carolina, Magna cum laude
Professional experience includes: Staff Attorney, Chesapeake Circuit Court; Legal clerk, Chesapeake Circuit Court; Legal intern/fellow, National Hispanic Media Coalition; Google Policy Fellow, Media Access Project; Legal intern for the Office of FCC Commissioner Mignon L. Clyburn; Staff Writer and B2 Editor, The State Newspaper, Columbia, South Carolina
Admitted to practice in Virginia

Maranda White  (Springdale, Arkansas)
J.D., University of Arkansas School of Law
Co-chair, Equal Justice Works (2012-13)
M.S., Environmental, Soil, and Water Science, Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food & Life Sciences, University of Arkansas
Graduate Assistant to Dr. Duane C. Wolf
Thesis: The Ecological Effect of Unpaved Roads
B.S., Environmental, Soil, and Water Science, Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food & Life Sciences University of Arkansas
Professional experience includes: Research Assistant, Indigenous Food & Agriculture Initiative; Research Assistant, Professor Robert B. Leflar; Law Clerk, McMath Woods, P.A.; Public Interest Extern, Attorney General for the Cherokee Nation; Corporate Extern, Walmart Stores, Inc.; Law Clerk, Mostyn Prettyman; Pro Bono Law Clerk, Legal Aid of Arkansas; Research Intern, Nature Conservancy; Consultant, Arkansas Wildlife Federation

Distance LL.M. Candidates
(Note that this is an incomplete listing to respect the privacy of candidates that do not yet want their participation publicized for professional reasons)

Michael Hoffman (Aspen, Colorado)
J.D., University of Denver
M.B.A., Finance, University of Colorado Boulder
B.S., Zoology/Animal Biology, Colorado State University
Professional experience includes his current position as Of Counsel Attorney (real estate and land use), Garfield & Hecht, P.C.; Attorney and President, E. Michael Hoffman, P.C.; Partner, Freilich, Myler, Leitner & Carlisle, P.C.; Lender and Trust Officer, U.S. Bank
Admitted to practice in Colorado

Brian Mathison (West Point, New York)
J.D., Maurer School of Law, Indiana University - Bloomington
M.S., Agricultural and Environmental Chemistry, University of California, Davis
M.S., Finance, Indiana University, Kelley School of Business
B.A., Indiana University, English Literature
B.S., Indiana University, Biochemistry
Professional experience includes his current position as Instructor (Chemistry), in the Department of Chemistry and Life Science, United States Military Academy, West Point; Administrative and Operational Law Attorney, Joint Special Operations Task Force, Afghanistan; Trial Counsel, 11th Air Defense Artillery Brigade, Fort Bliss, Texas; Trial Counsel, 19th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), Daegu, Korea; Deputy Legal Advisor, Joint Task Force-North, Fort Bliss, Texas; Special Assistant U.S. Attorney, Office of the Staff Judge Advocate, Fort Bliss, Texas; Legal Assistance Attorney, Tax Center Officer-in-Charge; Transportation Officer, U.S. Army Europe Headquarters, Heidelberg, Germany
Publication: A Rapid Method to Determine the Sterol, Erythrodiol, and Uvaol Concentration in Olive Oil, J. Agric. & Food Chemistry, (co-authored with Dirk Holstege), available at

S. Patrick Morin, Jr. (Birmingham, Michigan)
J.D., cum laude, University of New Hampshire School of Law
Senior Research Editor, PIERCE LAW REVIEW
B.S., English Literature, Northeastern University
Professional experience includes his current position as Of Counsel with Dickinson Wright PLLC in Michigan; Associate positions with Bass, Berry & Simms PLC (Nashville and Knoxsville, TN) and Sullivan & Worcester LLP (Boston, MA); Judicial Clerk for the Honorable Jeffrey R. Howard, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 1st Circuit; Legal Clerk for U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of New Hampshire
His publications include:
P.T.S.D.: A NOVEL (CreateSpace Press 2011);  THE AUDITOR: A NOVEL (publication pending); Wherefore Art Thou Guidelines: An Empirical Study of White-Collar Criminal Sentencing and How the Gall Decision Effectively Eliminated Sentencing Guidelines, 7 PIERCE L. REV. 151(2008).
Admitted to practice in Michigan, Massachusetts, New Hampshire
Pat is a Board Member of the Veterans Bar Association and served as Captain in the United States Marine Corps. His awards include the Navy Commendation Medal, Iraqi Liberation Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, Global War on Terrorism Medal, Navy Unit Commendation Medal, National Defense Medal, Sea Service Deployment Medal.

Edward Peterson (Warner Robins, Georgia)
J.D., Capitol University Law School
LL.M., Employment Law, John Marshall Law School
Masters of Plant Protection and Pest Management, University of Georgia
B.S., Biology, Georgia College
Professional experience includes his current position as solo practitioner in Warner Robins, Georgia; Assistant Public Defender II, Swainsboro, Georgia; Associate Attorney, Matthew Waters Law; Assistant Public Defender I, Dublin, Georgia; Associate Attorney, Walter E. Baker Law; Assistant Solicitor, Warner Robbins, Georgia; Assistant District Attorney, Warner Robbins, Georgia
Professional experience with USDA includes: County Agricultural and Natural Resource Extension Agent; Plant Protection & Quarantine Officer, USDA APHIS; Computer Services Coordinator, USDA, APHIS; Technical Information Specialist, USDA, APHIS
Admitted to practice in Georgia

Kelvin Stroud (Washington, D.C.)
J.D., University of Arkansas School of Law
President, Student Bar Association
President, Student Arkansas Trial Lawyers Association
B.S.B.A., Dual Degrees in Finance and Accounting, University of Arkansas
Honor’s Thesis: Diversifying Financially with International Investments
Post-J.D. educational advancement: Global Policy Fellowship, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Scholar, Truman National Security Project Educational Institute; Congressional Fellowship, Partnership for Secure America; Scholar, Congressional Research Service Legislative Process Institute.
Professional experience includes his current position as Legislative Assistant to U.S. Senator Mark Pryor; Legislative Analyst, Tyson Foods; Legislative Counsel, U.S. Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee; Proprietor and Of Counsel,, Inc.; Solo Practitioner

Kurtis Ward (Oklahoma City, Oklahoma)
J.D., Oklahoma City University
CALI award for Securities Regulation
B.S., Agricultural Economics, Oklahoma State University
Professional experience includes his current position as General Counsel for the National Livestock Credit Corp.; Attorney, Law Offices of Kurtis J. Ward; Securities Arbitrator, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority; Futures Arbitrator, National Futures Association; Managing Member/ CEO, OKC Trading, LLC / KIS Futures, Inc.; Stock Broker/ Financial Advisor / Branch Manager, International Securities Corp.; Loan Officer, Farm Credit Services; Loan Assistant, USDA Farm Services Agency; Adjunct Professor, Political Science / American Gov’t, Oklahoma State University
Publications include: Preventing Investment Fraud: The Swindle, the Swindler, and the Swindlee, Provision Network (2007); The Futures Industry: From Commodities to the OTC Derivatives Markets, 12 PUBLIC INVESTORS ARBITRATION BAR JOURNAL 3 (2005); YOU SHALL HAVE GOOD SUCCESS (Harrison House Publishers 1995).